Questioning to Question Our Assumptions

Asking powerful questions can spark people’s intrinsic motivation to learn, contribute and create positive change. They also allow organizations and networks to tap and synthesize the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of many people in a system, organization, or community. Today I taught a workshop called The Art of Strategic Questioning, with a group of about 30 people who do… Read more

Enough Boring Meetings – A “Taster” to Explore the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter

“I hate boring meetings!” was the way Madeline Snow from UMass Lowell explained her passion for the Art of Hosting and its techniques for convening conversations that matter. She facilitated the September meeting of the Leadership Learning Community’s Boston Learning Circle where participants had the opportunity to experience a “taster” trying out several techniques including… Read more

Setting the Table for a Great Meeting

A key part of our work at New Directions is collaborating with our clients to design agendas that lead to great meetings. Developing strategic clarity is the foundation of the fine art of agenda design. Getting to this strategic clarity is an iterative process best done in conversation. As I save and rename an agenda… Read more

Strategic Questioning and the Art of Network Leadership

In a complex world of interconnected social and environmental challenges, it is increasingly clear that no one organization can solve these alone. A new focus on “collective leadership” is emerging where people collaborate and align their work across organizations and traditional boundaries for greater impact. In this context, we need skills to engage the diversity… Read more

Insights on Strategic Questioning

When you teach you learn. I recently taught a workshop on Strategic Questioning at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, as part of a Leadership Survival Skills workshop series for New England alumni. For background, Strategic Questioning is a technique of asking open questions that inspire movement and new insights/ideas. Strategic questions are… Read more

What is the Right Question?

At the recent Stonyfield Entrepreuneurship Institute, a boot camp for community-minded entrepreneurs, small business leaders, such as Vermont Cookie Love and Breakwind Farm (specializing in baked beans, no joke) presented a ten-minute overview of their business and asked for input on a key question or two. A panel of experienced advisers provided advice and feedback…. Read more

Strategic Questions for the New Year

As the new year begins, it is an opportune time to reflect on the past year and clarify vision and direction for the year ahead. Strategic questions enable people and organizations to move from the known (present) to the unknown (future) – exploring possibilities, seeing new options, and realizing where new information may be needed…. Read more